The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through Research, Medical care, Education and Advocacy. Formally established in 2009, the Foundation’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the United States committed solely to research and medical care for people with Down syndrome. Since Down syndrome is the least-funded genetic condition in the United States, fundraising and government advocacy to correct the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major goal.
The Foundation created and organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show – the single largest annual fundraiser benefitting people with Down syndrome. The event provides awareness by highlighting models who happen to have Down syndrome and funds critical research and medical care at the Crnic Institute.
Research includes understanding why there are so many people with Down syndrome who have auto-immune deficiencies, sleep apnea, physical delays, congenital heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism…
Such research includes understanding why there are so many people with Down syndrome who have auto-immune deficiencies, sleep apnea, physical delays, congenital heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and autism, and why it is very rare for a person with Down syndrome to develop a solid tumor cancer or suffer from a heart attack or stroke. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation also supports the Crnic Institute’s Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome to provide the best multidisciplinary medical care for children with Down syndrome. The Sie Center is working to update medical guidelines for children with Down syndrome, and will help to ensure that families, doctors and other healthcare providers have access to updated information.
In terms of government advocacy, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation has organized major initiatives with the National Institutes of Health, commissioned the first independent pollon how mainstream Americans view people with Down syndrome, and launched another important annual fundraiser in Washington, D.C., aimed at educating decision-makers regarding the importance of funding research, medical care and educational programs for people with Down syndrome.
Teammates celebrate a touchdown at the Dare to Play Football Camp with Ed McCaffrey
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation organizes and funds many programs, conferences and grants, including Be Beautiful Be Yourself Dance Classes, Dare to Play Football with Ed McCaffrey, The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camp and the Junior Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Program, Denver Zoo Internship Program, Global Down Syndrome Educational Series and the Global Down Syndrome Education Grant(awarded in conjunction with the National Down Syndrome Congress). The Foundation has more than 100 regular volunteers who contribute to the success of each program.
Globally, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation is raising funds that will provide translation of important health care and educational materials into other languages. The Foundation’s long-term goal is to encourage other countries to advocate for more human and civil rights, and to organize research programs, medical centers and related educational and advocacy programs for people with Down syndrome.